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  • The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, has instructed primary-school administrators to focus on literacy and numeracy for the new school year.
  • Senator Reid said primary schools in need of assistance will have available to them a group of literacy coaches.
  • “If all our students are literate and numerate, then they are better able to do well in other subjects as they progress through the education system,” - Senator Reid

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, has instructed primary-school administrators to focus on literacy and numeracy for the new school year.

Portfolio Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, said all students must master reading and math at the grade-four level.

“For those who don’t, immediate steps must be put in place for them to catch up,” Senator Reid emphasised.

He was speaking at the 2016 Sagicor Foundation Scholarship awards function, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on August 25.

The Minister said primary schools in need of assistance will have available to them a group of literacy coaches.

Senator Reid further noted that additional numeracy specialists will be available to schools for the continuation of a mathematics intensification programme.

“If all our students are literate and numerate, then they are better able to do well in other subjects as they progress through the education system,” he said.

The Minister used the forum to appeal to parents to shop wisely for textbooks, while noting that the Government already provides textbooks free of cost in primary schools, and on a rental scheme in secondary schools.

The ministry is also scheduled to supply schools with several thousand pieces of furniture by August 31 and has approved some schools to procure or repair furniture from existing accounts.

“School administrators have done their best to have their institutions ready for the new academic year,” Senator Reid said.

Meanwhile, 27 students attending six tertiary-level institutions were presented with scholarships valued at $250,000 each.

The institutions are the University of the West Indies, University of Technology, Northern Caribbean University, The Mico University College, Caribbean Maritime Institute and the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.

The scholarships are renewable annually, once students maintain a grade point average of 3.0.

Fifteen scholarships were presented to children of Sagicor stakeholders, who excelled in the 2016 Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).

Sagicor also awarded scholarships to the top boy and girl in the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA)/Sagicor National Primary, All-Age and Junior High School’s Athletic Championships.

The Minister congratulated the students who received Sagicor scholarships for the 2016/17 academic year. He encouraged them to set goals and stay focused to achieve them.

For his part, Chairman, Sagicor Group Jamaica and Sagicor Foundation, Dr. the Hon. R. Danny Williams, challenged the awardees to contribute to the successes of the country.

“I want to encourage you to utilise not only your educational and academic capabilities to influence the world, but also to be aware of your surroundings and community and foster empathy for the less fortunate in society,” Dr. Williams said.